Written by Josh Horsman
There is currently no cure for Dementia. That might be a difficult thing to read, especially if you have recently been diagnosed. However, the good news is that advances in scientific research mean that we are now able to understand the condition better than we ever have before and modern medicine provides us with several options for treating the associated symptoms of Dementia. This means that it is entirely possible, in the majority of cases, for people living with Dementia to maintain a high quality of life and to live free from the constant pain and distress of their symptoms.
Here's our in-depth guide to the different Dementia treatments available:
Cholinesterase Inhibitors: This term describes a range of medications which may be prescribed by your doctor to counter the impaired memory and judgement skills caused by Dementia. These medications work by boosting levels of useful chemicals involved in these key cognitive processes, lessening the harmful impact of Dementia on everyday brain functions. Although usually used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease, they can also be effective in treating symptoms of Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease.
Notable cholinesterase Inhibitors include Donepezil, Rivastigmine and Galantamine.
Memantine: Often known by the brand name ‘Namenda’, Memantine is a drug which helps to regulate the activity of ‘Glutamate’ in the brain and ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Glutamate is a chemical messenger which is essential for key brain functions like memory and learning, but Dementia prevents it from functioning well. Memantine enables the brain to use Glutamate more effectively and this can improve or control symptoms of memory-loss and cognitive decline. (For more information on Memantine, see our blog: https://bit.ly/2IHOXrm)
Other medications: Other notable symptoms of Dementia include: Sleeplessness, agitation, behavioral changes and depression. These are all symptoms which are commonly and fairly easily treated with prescription medication. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor about available medications.
Apart from prescription medication to treat the symptoms of Dementia, there are also a range of different therapies which may temporarily ease a person’s symptoms or enhance their quality of life through providing moments of clarity and alertness which may be otherwise rare:
While treatments and therapies can be incredibly effective, simple lifestyle changes are often overlooked as elements of Dementia care. There is lots of evidence to suggest that a healthy and well-managed lifestyle can reduce a person’s risk of having Dementia or can help to ease symptoms if they do develop.
The MindMate App helps its users to change their lifestyle and adopt a healthy routine. The app provides a daily activities plan that is curating personalised exercises, games and diet suggestions. You can download the app here.